Yes and no.
Microsoft just announced officially that they have added ORTC to Edge. ORTC is… well… it’s kind’a like’a WebRTC. But not exactly.
Someone is doing his best NOT to mention WebRTC in all this…
Here are a few random thoughts I had on the subject:
- It is more about WebRTC than it is about ORTC. Even though WebRTC was mentioned only half as much as ORTC in the text and never in the title (god forbid)
- Getting “Hello World” to work on ORTC is harder than with WebRTC. Or it might just be me knowing WebRTC betther than ORTC
- It was perfectly timed to coincide with Skype’s own support for it
- Voice using Opus is a win. I wonder when we will see interoperability for a voice call between Edge and Chrome [UPDATE: check the comments below – there already is. With Firefox as well]
- Video using H.264UC (=proprietary) and later H.264 with no mention of VP8 or VP9 is a loss. Not for Microsoft but for the industry
- Codecs, especially video ones, are going to cause major headaches moving forward. I wonder how web developers will swallow this sour pill
- Will developers start using H.264 instead of VP8 now that it is apparent all browsers supporting WebRTC in 2016 will have H.264, but some won’t have VP8?
- While Windows 10 is showing promise in its adoption (and aggressive push by Microsoft), the adoption of Edge is worrying. If numbers don’t increase, will it even matter if ORTC is there or which codecs Microsoft chose to incorporate?
- The whole idea of getting Microsoft onboard is to get enterprises market share for WebRTC – where no other browser than Microsoft’s can penetrate. But if Edge isn’t there – then who really cares? It may well be like testing your service runs well on Opera (I am sure you did)
- Here’s the rub though:
- ORTC by the way isn’t a standard. It is a W3C Community Group
- To get things into the HTML5 spec, ORTC needs to contribute their proposals to the W3C WebRTC Working Group
- This process means that the APIs may change until it actually get standardized by W3C
- It makes ORTC APIs less stable than those of WebRTC, and we’ve seen how people complained about the frequent changes in the browser APIs of WebRTC
- Can Microsoft maintain this process?
- This means that the next version of Edge will have different APIs for ORTC than the current one, and that this will continue for at least a year if not longer
- Microsoft will need to release Edge at the same frequency that Google releases Chrome – every month or two
- It will also need to handle deprecation of APIs at a fast pace – can its target customers (enterprise) handle that?
All in all, another good indicator for the health of this community and real time communications in the web.
For a real analysis, read Alex’s ruminations on ORTC in Edge.